Recruitment currently closed.

Frequently asked questions

Participation and Eligibility

How long is the study?


The study begins when you enroll and is planned to last until November 30, 2020. If you enrolled in the study after Thursday, April 24th, or if you completed the study extension survey such that you are now participating through August 31st, 2020, you will receive another study extension consent survey in which you will have the opportunity to extend your participation until November 30th, 2020. You may end your participation at any time by emailing TemPredict@ucsf.edu. If you are using a study-provided Oura Ring, then, at the end of your participation, we will mail you a return label so that you can send us back the Oura Ring.




Are you interested in symptoms I experienced or diagnoses I received prior to joining the study?


If you would like the opportunity to provide the study researchers with more information about symptoms you were experiencing, or diagnoses you received, prior to enrolling in the study, you can click on this link.





Tech Support

Why can’t I see the link for the daily survey?


First, make sure you have the latest version of the Oura App installed. If you don't, please update your app. If you do, and you are still experiencing this issue, it could be that you are signed into an Oura account that is different from the one you used to join our Oura Team. In this case, please confirm the Oura account you are using by opening the Oura App, tapping on the three lines at the top-left corner of the home screen, clicking "Settings," and scrolling to the center of the screen where it says "Account."

Once you've done this, please email us at TemPredict@ucsf.edu with the email address listed under "Account" so we can assist you further.




The app crashed when I was trying to complete my daily symptom survey. What do I do?


We apologize for this technical difficulty. We are doing our best to ensure that the technology works as smoothly as possible. If you are already signed up with an Oura account and having issues with the study’s daily survey link, it is best if you uninstall the app and reinstall it, and then log in with your Oura account credentials. You should then be able to tap on the link to complete the daily symptom survey.




I can’t log in to my Oura account to join the TemPredict Oura Team.


After you complete the baseline survey, when you click on the link to join the Oura Team, you may be asked to log in to your Oura account. Please make sure you are entering the email address you used to create your Oura account and password (no typos).

If you already have an Oura Ring, you can confirm your Oura account email address within the Oura App under Settings. Click the three lines on the top-left corner of the screen, then “Settings,” and find where it says “Account.” Below that is your Oura account email address. If you have forgotten your Oura account password, you may reset it here: https://cloud.ouraring.com/account/forgot-password. Please check your spam folder for the password reset email and let us know if you never receive it.

If you do not currently have an Oura Ring and you have just created your Oura account, please try resetting your password here: https://cloud.ouraring.com/account/forgot-password. If there is a chance that you entered your email address incorrectly when first creating your account, please try creating another and ensuring there are no typos. If you remember the mistake you made, you can login to cloud.ouraring.com and go to “My Account” on the left sidebar to change your email to the correct one. Otherwise, you can delete the app off of your phone entirely, and when you redownload it, you will have the option to create a new account.




How can I update information that I’d like to update within the Oura App?


To update your information within the Oura App, click the top-left menu bar (three lines), then “My profile.” Your information will be at the bottom of this page. Click any entry to change it.





Survey Questions

I am unsure whether to select “Yes” or “No” to the question in the screening and enrollment survey that asks whether I am 50% patient-facing.


We wish to be able to identify folks at potentially increased risk for being exposed to COVID-19. If you are seeing patients, in person, in your hospital or health care setting, but your health care site is not currently caring for individuals afflicted with symptoms of COVID, we would suggest answering “no” to this question.

If you anticipate spending greater than 50% of your time at work interacting face-to-face with (i.e., in the physical presence of) patients that may have COVID-19, you meet this criterion. Some people have switched to telemedicine or are working from home for a majority of their time - these people would not meet this criterion.

If you are potentially in contact with patients who might have COVID-19, this is sufficient. We understand that you can’t know if the patients actually have it oftentimes, until you are done caring for them. If you are in a healthcare environment wherein you are wearing a high level of protective gear, you should answer “yes” to this question because you are in a high-risk environment even if you don’t treat COVID-19 patients.




Should I list symptoms unrelated to COVID-19 (or another acute illness) in the daily survey?


To reduce the burdens of participating in the study, we chose to not ask many important questions. We ask all participants to list all symptoms as they occur, whether or not they believe they are related to COVID-19. During analysis, we will be looking for suites of symptoms and digital biomarkers that identify COVID-19 as separate from other symptoms or causes. This is important so we can know how well these data allow us to identify COVID specifically.

If you have already completed the screening and enrollment survey, and did not have the opportunity to report on your medical condition, you can do so by clicking on the email link you received on April 24th, 2020. If you cannot find that email, please contact us at TemPredict@ucsf.edu and we can provide you with a link to do so.




Are you interested in symptoms I experienced or diagnoses I received prior to joining the study?


Yes! If you would like the opportunity to provide the study researchers with more information about symptoms you were experiencing or diagnoses you received prior to enrolling in the study, you can click on this link.




Can I use the Oura Ring to take my temperature?


No. The Oura Ring does not provide instantaneous temperature readings and, instead, reports deviations from your average. This average is rolling and adjusts over time as the Oura ring collects new data.

Our temperature question within the daily survey is asking whether you took your temperature with another device, such as a thermometer.




I think your questionnaire is missing important questions.


Thank you for this input! At this time we are not able to make changes to our daily symptom survey but we will certainly consider any suggestions you send us at TemPredict@ucsf.edu for the future.




My name is hyphenated, and I cannot proceed with the survey.


Hyphens, underscores, and the like are permitted within email addresses. However, if your first or last name is hyphenated, please enter a space instead.




Am I considered a healthcare worker for the purposes of this study?


By healthcare worker, we mean anyone who works in a field caring for human patients, including emergency services such as paramedics and EMTs. Healthcare workers include nurses, doctors, medical assistants, dentists, and any profession that provides human healthcare.




In the monthly survey, should I answer “Yes” or “No” to the question that asks if I have been around anyone with “known or suspected COVID-19”?


  • If you know that you have been around people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, please answer this question “yes.”
  • If you suspect people you have been around might have COVID-19 (for example, if they exhibit obvious symptoms like coughing or state that they feel feverish) then please answer this question “yes.”
  • If you wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) at work, then please answer “Yes” to this question since you work in a high-risk environment.
  • If you are not aware of anyone you’ve been near having either a diagnosis of COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19, please answer this question “no.”
  • If you haven’t been around anyone with known or suspected COVID-19, but you have been out grocery shopping or doing other necessary activities in public places, and are taking proper precautions (e.g., hand washing), your answer should be “no.”





Using the Oura Ring

Are my data still valuable if I only wear my ring at night?


Yes! We ask that participants wear the ring each night - we understand that wearing it during the day may not be possible for you, and may not be your preference. Wearing the ring as much as you can maximally captures data that may be important, so we encourage you to wear it as often as you wish. However, the time when you are sleeping is most important.




How often do I need to sync my Oura Ring?


Please sync your Oura Ring every morning by opening the Oura App on your smartphone. When you see your sleep data from the previous night, you know it’s been successfully synced.




Can I turn on airplane mode within the Oura App?


You are free to use airplane mode, as long as you sync your ring daily (ideally in the morning upon waking), which will require that you turn off airplane mode. This is because airplane mode can turn off Bluetooth, which is how the ring syncs to your phone. Please note that you will need to place the ring on the charger in order to take it off of airplane mode and sync the data. Once you’ve done this, you can turn airplane mode back on until the following morning.




Why do I have to save the packaging that my study Oura Ring arrived in?


If you received an Oura Ring in the mail from this study - meaning, you did not purchase it, but the TemPredict study team sent it to you - we will ask you to return the Oura Ring after the study. To reduce packaging waste, we ask that you save the packaging that your study ring arrived in, and re-package the ring in this packaging, with the new shipping label we will provide to you, at the end of your study participation.




What if I lose the study-provided ring?


If you lose the ring during the study, please contact us at TemPredict@ucsf.edu and we will see if we can help you find it. You will not be liable for the cost of the ring if you lose it during the study.




Can I get the Oura Ring wet?


Yes. The Oura Ring is waterproof. You may wash your hands with it, go swimming with it, and exercise with it on. However, we recommend removing the ring when lifting heavy weights or doing other activities that may scratch it.




Do I have to return the ring after the study?


If you are using an Oura Ring provided by the TemPredict Study, we ask that you return the ring and its charger (not the ring sizing kit) to us. To reduce packaging waste, we ask that you save the packaging that your study ring arrived in, and re-package the ring in this packaging. We will mail you a shipping label toward the end of the study - there are no costs to you to ship the ring back to us.




How often do I need to charge my Oura Ring?


The Oura Ring battery life is approximately 4 days. Please aim to charge your Oura Ring when it has less than 25% battery life, or about every 4 days, and especially if the battery indicator in the top-right corner turns red. You can view your battery percentage by clicking on the battery indicator in the top-right corner. Good times to charge are when you are awake and sedentary (if you would like to track your activity data), including: working at your desk, watching TV, while showering, and driving in the car. Your battery must be above 10% in order to capture sleep data.




Can the Oura Ring be used to diagnose COVID-19?


No. The Oura Ring is not a medical device and is not intended to diagnose any medical condition.




Can I view my own data with the Oura App?


We encourage you to view your own data within the Oura App. A great time to view your sleep data is in the morning when you are syncing your ring, although you are free to open the App at any time of day. We recommend fully exploring the App if you’re interested, including “Trends” under the top-left menu bar.




How can I clean my ring?


You can clean your ring using anything you would use to clean your skin! Soap, hand sanitizer, alcohol swabs are all safe to use to clean the ring.




How do I use the Oura ring charger?


To charge your ring, connect the USB cord to the ring's charger and plug the USB into a power source (e.g., a laptop, or wall outlet). Then, rest your ring on the charging dock. The LED light on the charger will begin pulsing after you've set the ring on the dock. When the light stops pulsing, your ring is fully charged. If the LED light does not illuminate, ensure the charger's cable is properly connected. Double-check that your ring is positioned correctly, ensuring good contact between your ring and the dock. Still having trouble? Please reference this charger troubleshooting guide.





Data Privacy

Will you be accessing my historical data once I sign up? Can I prohibit this somehow?


This varies depending on when you joined the study:

If you joined the study prior to April 24th, and you did not provide your consent to extend your participation in the study via the link emailed to you on April 27th, the TemPredict study will only access your Oura Ring data during the 3 months that you are enrolled in the study.

If you joined the study prior to April 24th, and you did provide your consent to extend your participation in the study via the link emailed to you on April 27th, the TemPredict study will have access to your Oura Ring data beginning January 1st, 2020, through August 31st, 2020. If the study is providing you with an Oura Ring, TemPredict will have access to your Oura Ring data beginning when you receive it.

If you joined the study between April 24th and August 8th, and you did not provide your consent to extend your participation in the study via the link emailed to you on August 8th, the TemPredict study will have access to your Oura Ring data beginning January 1st, 2020, through August 31st, 2020. If the study is providing you with an Oura Ring, TemPredict will have access to your Oura Ring data beginning when you receive it.

If you joined the study between April 24th and August 8th, and you did provide your consent to extend your participation in the study via the link emailed to you on August 8th, the TemPredict study will have access to your Oura Ring data beginning January 1st, 2020, through November 30th, 2020. If the study is providing you with an Oura Ring, TemPredict will have access to your Oura Ring data beginning when you receive it.

If you joined the study on or after August 8th, the TemPredict study will have access to your Oura Ring data beginning January 1st, 2020, through November 30th, 2020. If the study provided you with an Oura Ring, TemPredict will have access to your Oura Ring data beginning when you receive it.

If you wish to withdraw from the study earlier or at any time, please email us at TemPredict@ucsf.edu.

Your Oura Ring data will be digitally “cut” based on your participation dates before UCSF researchers receive them. This study is focused on linking ring data to symptoms that you report via the daily symptom surveys.

However - if you would like the opportunity to provide the study researchers with more information about symptoms you were experiencing prior to enrolling in the study, you can click on this link.




What happens to the data that you have already collected if I withdraw from the study?


If you wish to withdraw from the study, please email us at TemPredict@ucsf.edu so we can update our records. You can stop sharing your Oura data with us anytime by logging into your Our account at www.cloud.ouraring.com, clicking “My Account” in the bottom-left menu, scrolling down to the “Oura Teams” section, and clicking “Revoke.”

At the end of the study, when UCSF researchers access the study data, we can remove the self-report and Oura data you provided that have not yet been de-identified. To create a dataset, we assign participant ID numbers and de-identify data to maximally protect privacy of those who participate in research. Once the data have been de-identified, we will not be able to isolate your data for deletion.




Can you clarify the following comment in the consent form? "Participation in research may involve a loss of confidentiality and/or privacy, but information about you will be handled as confidentially as possible."


Loss of privacy is a risk whenever information exchange occurs. This sentence in the consent form is always present in consent forms such as these. We take your privacy very seriously and UCSF adheres to best practices in research. To create a dataset, we assign participant ID numbers and de-identify data to maximally protect privacy of those who participate in research. This research is overseen by the UCSF IRB, which has reviewed all procedures of this study and deemed them to be maximally dedicated to protecting participant confidentiality.




Will you share my information with any other organizations?


If you require a study-provided ring, we will share your name, Oura email address, mailing address, and requested ring size with our Oura shipping partners so they can process your ring order(s) and return label(s).

If you consent to antibody testing, we will share your name and mailing address with Westat and GBF Medical, which are assembling the testing kits and coordinating shipping the kits to participants. Westat is an employee-owned professional research services corporation and GBF Medical is a medical specimen collection kit manufacturer and distributor. We will not share your data or personal information with pharmaceutical or insurance companies.

The study team involves a collaboration between several university research groups, currently including UCSF, UCSD, and MIT. Researchers are also discussing the possibility of including health researchers from the US Navy and Army, who may want to include service men and women in this research. Like other researchers outside UCSF, they would not have access to any information that identifies you.





Study Findings

Will the algorithm you develop be made widely available?


We will be identifying whether we can make an algorithm, and then we will submit any findings for peer review, an important part of the scientific process. In other words, we aim to publish findings as peer-reviewed journal articles and to ensure that these articles are available to the public.




How can I see the data that come from this study?


We will publish the findings and you will be able to read this publication! We will be sure to alert participants like you when this is available. You can see your own Oura Ring data any time you wish, simply by opening up the Oura App.




Will you send interim reports with study information?


We are not currently able to release interim reports based on the incoming data, but this may change as the situation evolves. We are eager to give everyone as much information as possible as fast as possible, but with our current limited resources, we are choosing to focus on the research effort.





Contact Us

What is the best way to contact TemPredict Study Staff?


Please reach us at TemPredict@ucsf.edu. This is much more effective than attempting to call us. We will respond to your email as rapidly as we can.





Antibody Testing

When will you share the results of my antibody testing with me?


We understand the importance of getting results and want to get you results as soon as we can. We are aiming to be able to share results within the next few weeks or months - we will return your results to you as fast as we can. We are currently finishing up the shipping and receiving of our first 10,000 samples. Like you, we are very eager to be able to analyze the data, and we are eager to share your results with you. Below we provide more information about the obstacles we need to overcome in order to get you your results. The main hurdle right now is getting final procedures in place so tests can be run. The dried blood spots require a special step called “elution,” which uses solvents to wash antibodies off the card so they can be tested. This study is one of the first in the world to use dried blood spots with the assay platform we are using (Ortho VITROS) for COVID-19 antibodies-- one of the most accurate antibody tests now available for COVID-19. We need to make sure we get the methods right. We are working with laboratory experts who are doing final testing to get the most accurate method in place. We expect this to be done by mid-August. As soon as this is complete, we hope to start testing. However, for the first few weeks we anticipate that the laboratory may only be able to run a few hundred tests each week as they ramp up their procedures, as the elution step takes extra time. This means it will take some time to get all the dried blood spot cards processed. There are also regulatory rules we must follow closely to ensure that the process of getting results to you is as secure as possible. We are aiming to have the secure notification system for this study in place as soon as results begin coming from the lab, but it is possible this may be delayed as it is reviewed by oversight bodies such as our institutional review board.





Can my partner, child, friend, colleague, etc., also receive an antibody testing kit?


We apologize that we are only able to provide antibody testing kits to participants in the TemPredict Study.




How will you be mailing antibody testing kits?


We will be using USPS and expect kits to arrive within 2-3 days of mailing them. However, shipping times may be slightly delayed due to COVID.




Are you sending antibody kits to people in countries outside of the United States?


Currently we can only send kits within the US because it is much more expensive, unfortunately, to mail kits internationally at this time. However, we are working to make them available outside the US, especially for people who believe they may have had COVID in the past. If you indicated that you were interested in antibody testing in a survey, the research team will be in touch with more information.




When will I get my antibody testing kit?


We have a limited number of antibody testing kits available for distribution amongst a very large group of participants. We are sending out kits in batches and basing the selection of participants based on the following criteria: > Location, as provided by the participant (since some locations have higher prevalence rates than others) > Exposure risk, based on participants’ self-reported information > Completeness and content of participants’ self-report symptom data, and/or > Completeness of physiologic data collected by the Oura ring


We haven’t finished sending out all the antibody kits we have available so you may be included in the next batch of kits we ship if you consented to antibody testing but we cannot guarantee this.




I have done my own antibody testing and would like to share the results with TemPredict.


Thank you for being willing to share your test results with us.

If you received COVID-19 test results in the past, please click on this link and complete the survey. The survey will ask you about symptoms you were experiencing and any diagnoses you received.

If you receive any COVID-19 test results going forward, please enter this information in the daily survey that appears on your Oura app.

Note: Even if you already had antibody (or other COVID-19) testing, you are still eligible to receive antibody testing through the TemPredict study.




What is COVID-19 (SARS CoV-2) antibody testing and why is TemPredict using it?


COVID-19 antibody testing is different from what most people describe as “COVID testing.” The main COVID-19 testing that has been available uses nasal or oral swabs. This type of testing looks for parts of the virus that cause COVID-19 (or the SARS CoV-2 virus). This tells whether someone has the virus in their body when the test is done (active infection). It usually uses a method called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify viral RNA.

In TemPredict, we are testing whether information from the Oura Ring helps detect COVID-19 early. To do this well, it is important that we know who really got COVID-19 (and when)—and who has really not had it. There are three problems with relying on COVID-19 PCR testing for these critical questions. First, because of issues with the availability of testing, it has been difficult for many people to get tested. Second, while the test can be very useful, it is not perfect; it can be difficult to detect the virus when small amounts are present, or the swab didn’t reach the right spot. This means that at least 10% of the people who we know had COVID-19 test negative on a single test. With some tests in certain settings, over 30% of people with COVID-19 may test negative on a single PCR test. This high “false negative rate” is a big problem for something like the TemPredict study, where we need to be very accurate in knowing who really had COVID-19. Third, it is becoming clear that many people with COVID-19 have no or very mild symptoms. In some data, half the people with COVID-19 don’t realize that they had been infected. People with no or mild symptoms may not seek COVID-19 testing and present a situation wherein it could be very important to know whether Oura Ring data could help spot the infection. We won’t know this if we rely on PCR testing.

An accurate COVID-19 antibody test fixes these problems. When you have a new viral infection, the body rapidly develops an immune response that includes making antibodies to parts of the virus. These antibodies can be detected after the infection occurs -- whether people had symptoms or not. A good antibody test can be highly accurate.




I’ve heard many COVID-19 antibody tests are not very good. What are you using? Is it accurate?


It’s unfortunately true that many poorly performing COVID-19 antibody tests were initially allowed on the market by the FDA, without the usual FDA review process. This is changing as we write this document (May 7th, 2020) because the FDA is about to require that manufacturers provide data on test accuracy to continue selling the test. We are planning to use the Ortho Vitros SARS CoV-2 antibody test. This is one of the first tests to get Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA. Our team has carefully assessed available tests and determined this is one of the best. In initial data, 30 out of 30 people with COVID-19 blood samples, taken more than 8 days after symptoms started, had positive antibody tests (100% -- false negative rate = 0%). They also tested 400 blood specimens from people without COVID-19, including people with other viral infections. 400/400 tested negative (false positive rate = 0%). With testing on larger numbers of samples, these numbers are likely to go down (they don’t have anywhere else to go!) -- but they indicate very good test performance so far.




How are you collecting blood for the antibody testing?


TemPredict will collect blood using dried blood spots. You will get full instructions for how to do this in the dried blood spot collection kit you receive. Dried blood spot testing is being done because it allows you to collect specimens safely and conveniently at home and mail them to the study, without having to travel to a laboratory.

If you consented to antibody testing, the research team will be in touch with more information.




Will my antibody test results be completely confidential and shared with no one other than TemPredict Study?


Yes. Your results will be kept confidential, and will only be used for science. This means that your data will not be provided to your healthcare insurance in any way, and will not impact your healthcare. These results will be used only for the research study. They will not appear in your medical record (unless you choose to send results from the study to your healthcare providers). Results will be shared within the research team. Because the Department of Defense (DoD) is providing funding for antibody testing, the DoD could audit study records for compliance with regulations for the protection of human subjects. This is a very, very rare event. The UCSF Institutional Review Board can request to do this as well. We are not routinely sharing your personally identifiable information with the DoD. These are checks and balances to make researchers have done what they say they have done, have not simply made up data, and have followed all regulations to protect human subjects. As part of analyzing the data as productively as possible, we may make de-identified data available (without your name, email address, or other personal identifiers) to research partners. This could include health researchers who work with the DoD. Further, wherever feasible, test kits and the results will have only a study identification (ID) number attached, not your name or other information. To protect your confidentiality, the link between your study ID and contact information will be carefully protected in an encrypted data file with restricted access so only designated people oin the study team can access the file. People involved in the study who may have access to information like your mailing address and name will typically not have access to the actual test results-- just whether you received and sent back a dried blood spot card. Researchers partners outside UCSF (currently University of California, San Diego, and MIT) will only have your study ID number linked to the antibody results.




How would the antibody test be associated with my name or other identifying information?


Your antibody data will be integrated with your Oura ring and self-report data, and your identifying information (such as your name) will be removed. This will result in a de-identified dataset, which will be used for analysis. A separate file that links your study ID to your email address or other identifying information will be kept in an encrypted file and will be destroyed when no longer needed by the research study. Once this file is deleted, it will not be possible to identify your data in the dataset.




How many antibody testing kits will participants receive?


TemPredict researchers are currently planning to send two testing kits, approximately 8 weeks apart. This means that you, as a participant, would complete two antibody tests. The second test will help check if you got exposed to COVID-19 after the first test. In the future, researchers may invite some participants to continue in the study with additional antibody tests, but you will be able to choose whether to continue or not in additional research. Please remember that, for the scientific integrity of the study, it is vital that the specimens come from you - the participant the kits are sent to - and not someone else. Please do not share the kit with anyone else.




Will you be using the blood you collect to test for anything other than COVID antibodies?


Researchers are currently planning antibody tests only. However, COVID-19 research is evolving very rapidly and important new questions may emerge that could be answered by doing other tests on the dried blood spots. If such questions arise before a link between the dried blood spots and your contact information is destroyed, researchers will contact you to ask you whether your dried blood spot can be used for an additional test. If this link has been destroyed and there is no way to contact you or figure out who the dried blood spot came from, the dried blood spots are considered to be deidentified. In this situation, researchers would request approval to do additional testing from the university ethics board (institutional review board).




Can I pay you to conduct my antibody test?


Thank you for your offer! Unfortunately, we are not conducting tests on an individual basis but rather as a large batch of thousands. As such, small individual monetary contributions won’t be helpful for the research. We hope to secure funding very soon for the study. The most important contribution that we can gain from you is your participation.





Blood Spot Collection

I am having trouble producing blood spots. Do you have any tips?


Yes! Please see our additional tips for stimulating blood flow and producing the blood spots here. You may also copy the following URL into your web browser: https://ucsf.co1.qualtrics.com/CP/File.php?F=F_escS8a3DQUDdz3D. Email us at TemPredict@ucsf.edu with any questions.




My collection card does not have 6 circles. What do I do?


If your collection card has at least 4 circles protruding from it, please proceed completing the dried blood spots as is. If your collection card has less than 4 circles, email us at TemPredict@ucsf.edu so we can provide you with a replacement kit.




I wasn't able to fill all of the circles on my card. What should I do?


If you filled at least 2 circles on your card, you may send it back to us when all is dry. If you filled less than 2 circles and would like to try a second time, please email us at TemPredict@ucsf.edu, and we may be able to provide you with a replacement kit. Please also be sure to review these additional tips for increasing your chances of a successful collection.




It has been longer than 3 days since I received my kit. Should I still complete the collection?


Yes! The kits do not expire. Please complete the collection as soon as you can. If you are not currently at the address where the kit was sent, and it will be longer than 2 weeks until your return, please email us at TemPredict@ucsf.edu. We may be able to provide a replacement kit.




There are 6 spots on the dried blood spot card. Do I have to fill all of them?


A minimum of four blood spots is ideal; however, two completely filled blood spots are sufficient. It is more important to completely fill at least two circles than it is to get a small amount of blood on each circle. Each spot allows for one test, and completely filling the circle ensures that there is enough blood for the assay. Additional spots allow for duplicate testing to confirm results, retesting to check results (if needed), and/or backup testing if there is a problem with an assay run.




Should the circle be completely filled by the blood spot? What if blood seeps out into other areas of the card?


It is important to completely fill the circles on the blood collection card. While it is best to use a single drop of blood, you can use a second drop to completely fill the circle if needed. It is not a problem if blood goes outside the small circle, as long as the circle is filled.




Can I still use the test if I drop the card on the floor or do I need a replacement?


While keeping the card as clean as possible is helpful, it is okay to use the card if it falls on the floor as long as it did not get wet.




Can I touch my finger to the blood spot card if I cannot make the blood drop onto the card?


The test is most accurate if you don’t touch your finger to the card, so we advise letting the blood drop on the card. This helps get a standard amount of blood on the small circle that will be tested. However, it will still work if you touch your finger to the card, and we will still want you to send it back. We also recommend touching the blood to the card - but not your finger - if you are having trouble getting the blood to drop onto the card.




How do I know which side of the collection card is the back and which is the front?


There is no predetermined back or front to the collection card. Place the label on either side of the card, as indicated by the instructions, and that side will become the “back” of the card. You should then write the date (and draw the arrow, as instructed) on the opposite side of the card. This will become the “front” of the card by default, and you should place your blood spots on this side.




Do I need to include the bottom part of the return label when mailing the sample back?


You may see that there are two parts to the return label - a large label, and then a smaller sliver at the bottom that contains a couple pieces of additional information (e.g., the study email). The smaller sliver on the bottom is not necessary, but it is alright if you include it.




How do I complete the blood spot collection?


Each antibody testing kit contains the following items: 1. Instruction sheet 2. Biohazard bag with collection card and silica 3. Adhesive bandage 4. Two lancets 5. Two alcohol wipes 6. Return label 7. Sterile Drape For a visual demonstration of how to complete the blood spot collection, please go to this link – https://youtu.be/9eCZ88eSXw4 Please click here for additional tips to increase your chances of a successful collection.





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